My husband and I sometimes go out to dinner — or drive by restaurants on weekends — and marvel at the full parking lots and the waiting lines. We say to ourselves, “And the economy is bad…how?” Granted, I know that many people are suffering with the loss of jobs and financially hard times, and I don’t want to ignore that fact. But an informal look at some of life’s luxuries — liking shopping, vacationing and eating out — seems to indicate that many people still seem to be doing fine. I know that when I’m trying to stick to a tight budget, I tend to cut out all the little extras in life, like eating out, in an attempt to only spend money on what I truly need.
So I found it interesting when I read a study that came out last week on the views Millennials have of this topic. According to the Public Religion Research Institute survey, Millennials — like most Americans — are “most likely to cite jobs and unemployment as a critical issue facing the country.” Of all demographics, I think my age group has some of the worst prospects of finding a job after college — who wants to hire a young person with virtually no experience when you have five other people with a significant amount of professional experience also vying for the job?
So on one hand, I totally understand the survey results. On the other hand, given my experience with seeing and hearing about friends enjoying some of life’s luxuries, I wonder how many Millennials are actually struggling with financial hardships. Or how many just hear that the economy is bad so they say that when asked to answer a survey.
I also wonder how this view of the economy will affect how we vote in November. The study had some interesting results on Millennials’ political views. To read more about that, check out RisingVoice.com.
In the meantime, what do you think of the economic concerns cited by Millennials? Do you think they’re real or perceived based on media consumption? Do you see evidence of economic depression in your geographical area or not?